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Monday, November 4, 2013

Week One in Finland - Seinajoki

Vahnin Wilson and Vahnin Christiansen
HELLO ALL! Well I just want to say if my grammar and spelling is a little weird in this email it's because this is a finnish keyboard and it's super weird haha I'm not used to it yet. Well week one in Finland has been an adventure! Today has been a little hectic, we had to change my bike tire and then the computers at the library locked us out, so I don't have a lot of time. We had to come all the way to the chapel so I will type as fast as I can! I have been sent to a small town called Seinäjoki. It is a town of about 60,000 people and has a small university here. It's about 3 and a half hours northwest of Helsinki. I am in the Pietasaari district which means our district takes in the Swedish speaking cities of Finland so two elders in my district are Swedish speaking (one of them is a real Sweed though so.... no fair) There is a grand total of 25 people in the Seinäjoki branch. About 12 were actually in church on Sunday. We are in the smallest branch in all of Finland haha so we have some work to do. We live in Seinäjoki, but we can take trains up to Lapua and a few other little towns around our area because our branch takes in all those towns. There's only one Priesthood holder in Seinäjoki, everyone else comes from surrounding towns. 
My companinion is elder Christiansen, he is from Utah and has been here about a year. He's a super nice guy, we get along great! Yeah he's pretty good at Finnish so that it super helpful hahaha Ok so finnish..... when we're on the street I understand about 5 percent of what people are saying to us. When we're in lessons I can understand more and I can talk pretty well, like if I know what's going on I am able to contribute to the lesson and testify so what I usually do is listen to what my comp says (because I can always understand everything he says) and then I just add on to that. A few times I have embarrassed myself... like some guy was talking to me on the train and he was talking about some horrible train crash in the 70s and I had no idea what he was saying so I just like laughed and was like O ya ya that's right ...... super embarassing..... But in church on Sunday they had us both speak hahaha so that was a little scary. We have a tiny little chapel but I got up there and told them about myself and shared a couple scriptures and they loved it! I'm winning over the hearts of the people already hahaha all the sweet Finnish ladies were talking to me after saying that I speak really well and all that haha what's ironic is I didn't know what they were saying but my companion told me later. It's already getting a little chilly here.... I bought some gloves and a scarf thing but I don't really need a big coat and boots yet, my rain coat is pretty warm, but don't worry I will buy my coat and stuff next week probably. The branch here provides a bike for me which is way nice, so i just won't buy a bike until I transfer to a new area because I don't know if I will actually need a bike in my next area so i will just wait and see. 
Well we're doing whats called SHOTGUNNING an area. So that means that elder christiansen is new in Seinäjoki as well so were pretty much starting from scratch. We have a couple former investigators weve been meeting with though and we just contact all the people we pass on the street. We haven't done any tracting yet. Finland has strict privacy laws so I can't actually tell you peoples names here, but let me tell you about this one guy..... so its my very first lesson, I'm a little nervous and we go in there and this man is literally 88 years old. Picture an extremely old american person with dentures and whatnot..... now picture that person speaking finnish. That is this man. Full on wears the same robe every time we're over there and his dentures fall out while he's talking hahahaha I cannot understand ANYTHING he says. So it's a definite struggle but he is just the coolest, sweetest man and he has a baptismal date!! So we already have one baptismal date! We also taught a lesson to this guy who full on answered the door and sat with us the entire time without wearing pants.... so ya I'm officially a finnish missionary. I guess that's fairly common here hahaha well anyway, Seinäjoki is way cool! We get to go up to Oulu for a zone conference this week which is way exciting! I here that Oulu is a beautiful city and it's way up north so I'm excited. We're in the northern district of Finland which we call the district for men so that means we get to go up to Rovaniemi for Christmas!!! (Christmas village)
Well even though its extremely difficult everything is going really well. I'm learning so much every day and finns make the best desserts... and the chocolate is so good I want to die..... well I really have to go but I love you all so much! I'll send lots of pictures! and mom tell grandma and grandpa thank you so much for their email!
Pretty nice missionary digs! 
Finland doesn't have dryers!

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